THE CLASS OF 2020
Allan H. "Bud" Selig
Born July 30, 1934, in Milwaukee, Wisc., Allan H. "Bud" Selig grew up a baseball fan, rooting for the then-minor league Milwaukee Brewers and later the Milwaukee Braves when they moved to Wisconsin in 1953. When the Braves moved to Atlanta for the 1966 season, Selig set to work on bringing MLB back to his hometown. His efforts came to fruition on March 31, 1970, when Selig led a group that purchased the Seattle Pilots out of bankruptcy court. Seven days later, the Milwaukee Brewers opened their first MLB season.
A consensus builder, Selig soon became one of baseball's most influential owners. On July 9, 1998, Selig was formally appointed commissioner. His 16-year tenure was second only to Kenesaw Mountian Landis' 24 years in the office.
One of Selig's most notable achievements came in 1997, when he announced that the uniform number 42 would be retired across baseball to honor Jackie Robinson.
Born May 9, 1960 in Los Angeles, Anthony Keith Gwynn Sr. became one of baseball's greatest hitters.
Known as "Mr. Padre," Gwynn played his entire 20-year MLB career with the San Diego Padres from 1982-2001. The left handed-hitting outfielder won eight National League batting titles, tied for the most in league history. Consistent greatness was Gwynn's trademark at the plate: he had a .338 lifetime batting average and never hit below .309 in any full season. He also excelled in the field, earning five Gold Gloves.
Gwynn was a popular Cactus League fixture, patiently signing autographs and posing for photos with fans. Plagued by knee injuries late in his career, Gwynn retired after the 2001 season with 3,141 career hits. The Padres retired Gwynn's number 19 in 2004. Gwynn was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007, his first year of eligibility.
Alan "Al" Siebert
Al Siebert was a fixture of spring training in Peoria during a 30-year career that ended in his retirement in 2019.
Hired by the City of Peoria in 1989, Siebert served on the ground crew that opened Peoria Sports Complex in 1994 as the spring training home of the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres. It became the first shared spring training facility in either Arizona or Florida and established the model that assured the future of the Cactus League. Siebert was appointed Peoria Sports Complex Supervisor in 2008 and spent the last four years as the city's Sports Facilities Superintendent.
In 2018, Siebert's work was recognized by the Sports Turf Managers Association, which awarded Peoria Sports Complex with the organization's Environmental Facility Certification, bestowed on sports facilities that showcase ecologically friendly and sustainable best practices.
Billy Leo Williams was born June 15, 1938 in Whistler, Ala., and grew up in a segregated neighborhood. He began playing porfessional baseball in 1956 with the Ponca City Cubs of the Sooner State League.
Williams was the 1961 National League Rookie of the Year. For 16 seasons, Williams anchored left field for the Cubs, becoming as much a part of Wrigley Field as the ivy-covered outfield walls.
In each season from 1961-1973, the sweet-swinging Williams hit at least 20 home runs and drove in 84 runs. Williams was a six-time All-Star and won the 1972 NL batting title. Williams was traded to Oakland after the 1974 season and helped the A's win the 1975 American League West championship.
In 1987, Williams was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and his Cubs' uniform number 26 was retired. In 1999, he was selected to the Cubs All-Century team, and in 2010 Williams was honored with the unveiling of his statue outside Wrigley Field.
Vida Rochelle Blue, Jr., was born July 28, 1949 in Mansfield, La. At Mansfield's De Soto High School, he threw a 7-ining no-hitter, recording every out by strikeout.
In 1969, Blue signed a contract with the Oakland A's, and he soon became one of baseball's most-feared left-handed pitchers. In 1971, Blue achieved a rare double honor, winning the American League Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player.
Blue played a pivotal role in the Oakland A's three consecutive World Series Championships from 1972 to 1974. Blue was a six-time All-Star and the first pitcher to start an All-Star Game for both the American and National Leagues. On Sept. 21, 1970, Blue fired a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins in his 16th career game.
Blue went 209-161 with a 3.27 ERA in 17 Major League season, pitching for Oakland, San Francisco and Kansas City. He is a member of the Athletics Hall of Fame and the Giants Wall of Fame.
Vincent Edward Scully was born in the Bronx, N.Y., on Nov. 29, 1927. Scully fell in love his baseball at age 8, when he followed the New York Giants in the 1936 World Series.
After serving in the U.S. Navy for two years and working as a student broadcaster and journalist at Fordham University, Scully joined the Dodgers' broadcast team in 1950- a position he would hold in Brooklyn and Los Angeles for 67 years, until his retirement in 2016 at age 88. At the time he retired, Scully had called Dodger games for more than half of their 133-year history.
A Los Angeles icon, Scully had many connections to Hollywood. The creator of the X-Files, a big Dodger fan, named agent Dana Scully in homage to the Dodger broadcaster.
Scully received the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.